Citing a desire to open up a bit, AT&T indicated it would be embracing third-party app stores and the side-loading of apps and games. At the time of the announcement, I was hopeful that the carrier would adopt this policy going forward with all of its Android phones. It appears my suspicions are correct, as AT&T plans to enable this option for all phones sold May 15 and beyond.
AndroidCentral has snagged a screenshot that indicates both new and existing devices will allow for non-Android Market sources. According to details obtained by the blog, AT&T will begin issuing a software update to select handsets running 2.2 or higher.
Among this list of devices are the HTC Aria, the HTC Inspire 4G, and the Samsung Captivate. Once this update hits these phones, users will be able to enjoy the Amazon App Store, Getjar, and direct downloads.
There is no indication yet as to when this software update will arrive, but I suspect it will be in short order.